In this message, John Ritenbaugh, using the parable of Luke 11:24-28, admonishes that being cleaned up (or purged of leaven) is only the beginning of the growth process. To be made clean only prepares us for producing fruit. God's concern is for us to matu. . .
We tend to avoid acknowledging our weaknesses, but at some point, each of us will admit our powerlessness and inability to carry out God's will on our own.
Fruit is not produced immediately; it is produced only when a plant is both mature and stable enough that mere survival is no longer its top priority.
John 15:4-5 in the Phillips translation gives us a great deal to consider: "You can produce nothing unless you go on growing in me. ...
Clyde Finklea revisits the interpretation of John 15:2 , which reads in most translations, "every branch that does not bear fruit, He takes way." This is assumed by many to mean "get rid of." Dr. Bruce Wilkinson, in his book, The Secret. . .
Ted Bowling, drawing a spiritual analogy from the growth of a pineapple, observes that it takes a long time from planting to harvest—approximately three years for the plant to mature. At first, all that matures is the foliage. The majority of the gro. . .
Bill Onisick, asserting that getting grape vines to bear fruit is difficult, suggests that the production of succulent grapes is at least a two-year project, in which pruning dead wood and lateral vines that produce much foliage, but little fruit, and expo. . .
Like its physical counterpart, spiritual growth happens slowly. A newly baptized Christian will not produce the fruit of the spirit as easily as a mature one.
Jesus' cursing of the fig tree just days before His crucifixion has puzzled and even disturbed Bible readers for centuries, as it just does not seem to be something our Savior would do. However, Dan Elmore resolves this seeming contradiction by framing Chr. . .
John 15:2 may seem to say that the Vinedresser cuts off every barren branch, but the Greek behind "takes away" shows something else. Here is what God does.
We have learned that conversion is primarily a process, a transformation of a Christian's nature from human and carnal to godly and spiritual. ...
In the Parable of the Barren Fig Tree, Jesus does not attribute tragedy directly to any person's sins as the Jews did; instead, He affirms the sinfulness of everyone.
God personally communicated with Adam, Eve, Abraham, Moses, the prophets, and to us through His Son. With the Scriptures, God teaches His faithful today.
The Book of Hebrews is a must-read for all members of God's church who seek the key for spiritual growth through a meaningful relationship with Jesus Christ.
In Part One, we began to dig into the biblical metaphor of producing fruit and the importance of the root to that process. ...
Martin Collins, reflecting on the practice of "defriending" (or "unfriending") on Facebook, contrasts this practice with Christ's love for His called-out ones, a friending with the condition that godly fruit is born. When Paul challenge. . .
John Ritenbaugh, maintaining that our responsibility is to yield to God's sovereignty, nevertheless suggests that God has, by giving us free will, enabled us to freely sin, but holds us responsible for governing ourselves. The word govern, derived from the. . .
Egypt is not directly a symbol of sin, but instead the world. The Days of Unleavened Bread symbolize what God did for us, not what we did by our own power.
God's calling and predestination can be confusing, especially the verse that 'many are called, but few are chosen'. Why does God not just choose everyone?
Government may be the most important subject in the Bible because it touches on how Christians are to govern themselves under the sovereignty of God.
Like Joseph, we need to realize that God—not ourselves—is the Creator, engineering events that form us into what He wants us to become.
Justification is not the end of the salvation process, but merely the opening to sanctification, where we bear fruit and give evidence of God's Spirit in us.
John Ritenbaugh reminds us that we do not have immortality as a birthright (the lie which Satan told Eve), but that God is the sole source, making our relationship with God and God's judgment the most important focus of our life. One common denominator in . . .
Richard Ritenbaugh, citing a recent article in the Barna Report on research conducted by David Kinnaman, reveals that great confusion exists in defining spiritual maturity. In contrast to some definitions, spiritual maturity cannot be measured with numeric. . .
John Ritenbaugh emphasizes that works are not the cause of salvation, but instead are the effect of God's creative efforts at bringing us into His image—a new creation. We are created in Christ Jesus, given a tiny spark of His nature from which to dr. . .
John Ritenbaugh, focusing on God's creation of plants (Genesis 1:11-13), observes that God demonstrates His practicality and efficiency by establishing the genotype within the seed capable of infinite reproduction. God also gave humans the means to master . . .
The book of Hebrews teaches that our relationship to Christ as our Savior, High Priest, and King is the key to salvation. He shows us the way to the Father.
Imagine a man studying the Bible for two hours a day. But if he then spends his other waking hours watching cartoons, he will derive little benefit from study.
The Bible makes it very plain that salvation is by grace, but it is also clear that we are 'created in Christ Jesus for good works' (Ephesians 2:10). Having explained justification, John Ritenbaugh tackles the process of sanctification, showing that the fa. . .
John Ritenbaugh asserts that after justification, for grace to be made dominant, its influence must extend beyond justification, into the sanctification stage where the believer must yield himself to righteousness, keeping God's commandments making himself. . .
The Branch is a well-known Old Testament prophetic figure, identified as the Messiah by most people. Yet, is there more to it than that? What does it mean to us?
What is the Holy Spirit? What does it do? Who has it? How does it work? What does it produce?
John Ritenbaugh continues to examine the details of the vine and branch analogy concluding that Jesus presents Himself as the true or genuine Vine, as contrasted to the unfaithful or degenerate vine (ancient Israel). As the church (the Israel of God) is ob. . .
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting upon Philip's request to "show us the Father," suggests that Jesus has provided the way of knowing how God would lead His life in the flesh. Jesus is the way, the embodiment of the truth, and the mirror image of the Fa. . .
Like the four groups of seeds exposed to various qualities of soil, many have heard the true gospel, but few have remained faithful after the onslaught of hardship.
Richard Ritenbaugh, commenting on the dry and hard clay in South Carolina, a real challenge to cultivate, identifies some grounds of comparison Christ cites between ourselves and clay (soil). In the Parable of the Sower, Christ describes 1.0) hard, impenet. . .
God can take satisfaction that He is doing the right thing, and thus His rejoicing can even come from painful judgments. Sarcificing and rejoicing are linked.
Richard Ritenbaugh continues the theme of the difficulty we have in this age to distinguish truth from error. Satan's biggest targets for disinformation are God's called-out ones. As the apostles turned the world upside down by the Gospel, Satan's implante. . .
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